Reason No. 2: Frank Gore isn’t Adrian Peterson
While related to the first reason, there’s a key difference to note here when looking at Frank Gore and his career in contrast to that of another running back who defied Father Time, still-active Adrian Peterson, who broke into the league two years after Gore and cemented his own Hall of Fame-caliber résumé.
Peterson, 37 years old after the 2021 season (his 15th in the league), will be contrasted against Gore in the Hall of Fame debate no matter what. Both runners stemmed from a time when the ground game was still paramount to NFL offenses, long before today’s pass-happy attack took center stage.
Yes, Gore was great. But Peterson, who set the current-era benchmark for best running backs of all time, will finish his career as a seven-time Pro Bowler, the 2007 Offensive Rookie of the Year, a four-time first-team All-Pro, the 2012 NFL MVP (the last time a non-quarterback was selected), a member of the All-2010s team and will finish no worse than fifth on the NFL’s all-time leading rushing list with 14,918 yards as of the 2021 season.
Gore never came close to that accolade list.
Hall of Fame voters often use that kind of criteria, breaking down the absolute best of any generation, usually broken down by decade.
And while there’ll be no doubting Peterson’s Hall of Fame candidacy, contrasting Gore against him suggests the latter should be forced, at the very least, to wait for a long, long time until after Peterson is enshrined in order to magnify just how good the latter was.